Vil­liers ‘no’ to UK-Ire­land bor­der checks

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

NORTH­ERN Ire­land Sec­re­tary Theresa Vil­liers has re­jected sug­ges­tions that UK with­drawal from the EU would re­quire bor­der checks to be re­in­stated with the Re­pub­lic.

Ms Vil­liers, who is cam­paign­ing for Brexit, said there was “ev­ery rea­son to sug­gest” that the UK and Ire­land could main­tain free move­ment un­der the kind of com­mon travel area ar­range­ment which ex­isted be­fore the two coun­tries joined the EU in 1973.

She dis­missed calls for her to step down from her Cab­i­net po­si­tion while cam­paign­ing for a Leave vote.

Asked whether Brexit would mean tighter bor­der con­trols with the Re­pub­lic, Ms Vil­liers said: “That’s not in­evitable at all.

“It’s per­fectly pos­si­ble to main­tain that free move­ment with Ir­ish cit­i­zens.” DAVID Cameron said he hopes for a “rea­son­able, civilised” bat­tle with eu­roscep­tics as he re­newed hos­til­i­ties with Boris John­son over the UK’s fu­ture in the EU.

Se­nior Tories have warned the Prime Min­is­ter against any more per­sonal at­tacks on Boris, with the ‘in’ cam­paign ter­ri­fied of the in­flu­ence the mav­er­ick Lon­don mayor could have on vot­ers ahead of the ref­er­en­dum on June 23.

Mr Cameron urged the pub­lic to choose “se­cu­rity, safety and cer­tainty” by vot­ing to re­main in the Euro­pean Union as he vis­ited one of dozens of top busi­nesses whose bosses backed his case in a let­ter.

He con­ceded that he was “quite con­flicted” about the is­sue but that his time as Prime Min­is­ter had firmly per­suaded him of the case – ap­pear­ing to con­trast his ex­pe­ri­ence with that of the Mayor of Lon­don.

Mr Cameron said his close friend – who dra­mat­i­cally de­clared his sup­port for the “leave” camp at the week­end – had a “very strong fu­ture in Bri­tish pol­i­tics” but he re­peat­edly stressed that his judg­ment was “wrong” and he was “dis­ap­pointed” by his stance.

He told staff mem­bers at O2 in Slough: “I just want peo­ple to know that I am speak­ing about this af­ter think­ing about it very, very deeply, af­ter think­ing about all the things I have learned as Prime Min­is­ter over the last six years.

“I have huge re­spect for Boris as a politi­cian. He is a great friend of mine, he is a fan­tas­tic Mayor of Lon­don, I think he has a lot to give to the Con­ser­va­tive Party, I think he has a lot to give to this coun­try.

“But on this is­sue I think he has got it wrong.

“We are go­ing to have, I hope, a very rea­son­able, civilised ar­gu­ment be­tween us and be­tween other par­ties and you’re go­ing to find peo­ple with some strange bed­fel­lows. This is one where Jeremy Cor­byn and I agree.”

In the let­ter to the Times, chair­men or chief ex­ec­u­tives of 36 FTSE 100 com­pa­nies said a Brexit would “de­ter in­vest­ment and threaten jobs” – but the to­tal num­ber falls short of the 80 it had been sug­gested would sign.

Car man­u­fac­turer Nis­san, which em­ploys 8,000 peo­ple in the UK, added its voice to CAM OFF

IT: PM has been told to lay off Boris

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